DoD Directive: E911 system installed on Spangdahlem

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The new E911 emergency phone system is currently being installed and will be operational base wide starting January 2014.

The new E911 system will allow first responders to see physical call data from incoming calls across Spangdahlem. The phone number for emergency services in Germany and on Spangdahlem is 117.

"E911 is a server that is being installed on the base that's integrated with the voice over internet protocol telephone system we currently have," said Master Sgt. Robert Latimer, 52nd Communication Squadron section chief for plans and programs, from Dallas, Texas. "It provides physical call data for physical location data for incoming phone calls to the first response emergency desk."

The DoD Directive is being implemented across the military, and the 52nd CS is charged with carrying out the plan for Spangdahlem.

Latimer said the directive resulted in the aftermath of the 2009 shootings in Fort Hood, Texas. During the crisis, base personnel would call emergency services and later drop the phone. Emergency responders could not detect exact locations of the phone calls now were they able to locate the emergency. The intent of this year's revision is to fix this.

"This will give our first responders, security forces individuals, fire department, explosive ordnance disposal or whoever needs to respond to these locations the data needed to find where the call is coming from," Latimer said. "That's why it's important - it gives the capability for the base to respond, not just to physical threats. If somebody picks up the telephone and they're having a heart attack and can't speak, then the operator will know where that individual is located, and send an appropriate response."

The E911 system can do more than just pinpoint the location of the call.

"The system does voice recording and call-back capabilities," said Tech. Sgt. India Fish, 52nd Communication Squadron project manager, from Brooklyn, N.Y. "Once the number is responded to at its location, we can call back to see if there are any problems, see if you need additional assistance or if whoever you called or what type of responder you needed made it or not."

The 52nd CS pushed out a request to all Spangdahlem units to collect phone locations. There are more than 5,000 phones currently installed on base.

"The information pushed out is only as good as the information we receive from our customers," Latimer said. "If units don't report the telephones and someone make a phone call off that telephone, then it's not going to get reported because we don't have that data loaded into the system. It's extremely important they realize how important it is for them to deliver accurate data to us."

In addition to the survey's importance, Fish said the underlining value of the new system could also be measured as the crucial factor between life and death in an emergency.

"Once the system is operational, it's going to be a good thing for the base because first responders will be notified where the location of the call is being made," Fish said. "That's most important because anybody can pick up a phone, but if we don't know where they are on the end of that call, it's hard to respond and to respond quickly."

The phone system will only be operational by using the base's VoIP phone system. Calls placed on cell phones or off base land lines cannot be tracked by Spangdahlem Air Base's E911 system.

For more information, contact your unit Telephone Control officer or call 452-6548.